Senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, President of the Tibet Group in the French Senate, organised an event in the Médicis hall to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of a group of 20 Tibetan children, 10 girls and 10 boys, to France.
Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s appeal for international aid for Tibet and his people shortly after his arrival in India a decision to welcome 20 Tibetan children was taken at the highest level of the French government with the support of then President General de Gaulle. The children arrived in France in October 1962 accompanied by foster parents who were entrusted with the dual task of looking after them and providing them with education in Tibetan language and tradition.
The event brought together eleven of the children, now adults, to commemorate the event, which marked France’s shared past with Tibet. The Gaullist association of the Senate was also associated with the event.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued the event with a written message in which he thanked everyone in France who was involved in bringing up the 20 Tibetans and expressed gratitude to the supporters for their continued support for the Tibetan people’s freedom and dignity. Representative Rigzin Genkhang delivered the message translated in French to the audience and also took the floor later to brief them on a few issues of immediate concern and called on the Senators to urge their government for support in the endeavours of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Senators Annick Billon, Joseph Else, André Gattolin, former Senators representing the Gaullist association, Valère Ortoli, son of admiral Ortoli, who was involved in bringing the Tibetan children to France, journalists, Venerable Thupten Wangchen, Thupten Gyatso, members of TPiE representing Europe and Africa, Karma Thinley, President and Wangdi Gyal, Vice-President of the Tibetan Community in France, and Thupten Tsering, Secretary, Bureau du Tibet, Paris, also attended the event. The event ended with a sumptuous cocktail in the majestic salon de Boffrand where the ladies of the group treated the audience to a beautiful Tibetan song.